The Deer Park at Sarnath, just outside Varanasi, is considered the birthplace of Buddhism. Here the Buddha preached his first sermon, and later an enormous monastery was erected. When Buddhism died out in India, the sit was forgotten, but it has since been thoroughly excavated. Most Buddhist visitors either come from the far north or from abroad. The Dhamekha Stupa at the left is the base of a vast column which was begun but never completed, and which is considered a sacred site by Buddhists.